Did you know that Vantage Point Products is on Instagram?
We are regularly posting behind the scenes of our systems in use, example images of what our photography masts can do, and videos of us testing the latest photographic equipment on our aerial imaging equipment, such us the DJI Osmo Plus.
If you are a customer, please do connect with us - we would love to follow you and see what you have been creating with your Vantage Point Product.
Hello again! Let's continue our last blog on simulating drone shots using our carbon fibre mast systems and a DJI Osmo Plus - Click below to see the video of our first attempt!
First - We here at Vantage Point Products are primarily aerial mast photographers rather than aerial videographers; we leave that work to our customers, however, we wanted to see what we could produce using our own products connected to DJI camera hardware.
Second - This footage was captured on our first try, and we added no stabilisation other than that which the DJI Osmo Plus could provide via it's gimbal.
Third - We put our 30ft mast through its paces, while we used the system to walk, pan, rise and even "fly" away from our model.
Let us know what you think, after all, imagine what you can create with your own skills?
All our products are tried, tested solutions for safe elevated imaging - even in UK CAA or US FAA restricted no-fly zones and close proximity to people and property
We always put safety before sales, and we are here to help you plan for success.
With Vantage Point Products you will receive high quality, high reach elevated imaging solutions and professional customer support.
We ship worldwide.
We look forward to hearing from you soon; Contact us via email@example.com, call +44 (0) 2380 982366, or click here to take at look through our website for more information.
Many customer's who've contacted us have shown interest in using an imaging drone to capture aerial video of properties, people and places - most importantlygetting paid for doing so (a.k.a commercial operations)
or within 150 metres (500ft) of crowds and built up areas
To try and overcome these distances, certain drone companies have provided cameras capable of optical (and less desirable digital) zoom capabilities, but these have been limited in range and are expensive to buy.
Yes, it is possible to fly within the normal CAA limits if you have received further special training and certification from the CAA; but now a growing number of drone manufacturers (DJI included) are literally grounding (via controller software) drones based on GPS co-ordinates and proximity to no-fly zones (see article on here on trusty dpreview.com)
The result? Reportedly, on occasions it has become near impossible to get as close to an area you, or your customers, wish to image or video - even if you are qualified to do so.
How do you overcome these issues? Vantage Point Products has an answer!
Watch our video below to see how by using one of our elevated 18ft, 30ft or 40ft carbon fibre photography and video mast systems.
But before you watch, please ask yourself these questions:
If we didn't tell you that we used a mast to capture these images, would you have simply assumed we used a drone?
If so, then could your customers really tell the difference?
If not, would you consider adding our products to your tool kit for capturing safe, stunning aerial images when and where you and your paying customers wish?
Our three models of strong rigid carbon fibre mast are capable of safely elevating up to 2kg payload - that is more than enough for a DSLR and lens, let alone a DJI Osmo, Osmo Plus, or Osmo X5 Pro.
The advantages of the DJI Osmo range is it's ability to be remotely controlled with a fairly responsive live view (via app) and its own steady pan and tilt gimbal, capturing 4K video if needed.
"Is 30ft or 40ft high enough?" some customers ask. The answer:
Drone flights at 100-400ft have their place - but are you trying to video or photograph a huge tract of land, or simply one single property with attached grounds?
In aerial imaging, whether capturing stills or video, it ismore often a case of trying not to capture certain undesirable objects or areas (even people) in the shot rather than trying to capture everything (e.g dirty moss covered roofs, building sites, nearby busy roads....or worse).
You'd be surprised what a difference a vantage point between 18ft, 30ft and 40ft can capture, as you can see below:
If its capturing stills you're after, then our masts can take you places a drone never could legally - see below:
Should you wish to go higher than our tallest DSLR strength mast (40ft), we have a retail range that can carry a GoPro or ultra light compact camera (under 200 grams) to 50ft, 63ft, or even 74ft max (with care).
We can even build custom strength masts for you to elevate heavier cameras to a specific height.
Vantage Point Products specialise in all things related to safe, effective professional aerial photography and video by mast - we treat each customer's project as our own, and always put safety before sales!
Our products and our level of customer support is valued accordingly - as is the quality of work our customers produce using their skills and our mast systems.
Why not work with us? We'd love to support you, so please call or email to discuss your project.
Let us know at least the following so we can help you succeed:
the height (in metres / feet) you wish to reach for the desired vantage point
the imaging hardware you wish to use (make and exact model of camera/s and lens/es, so we can calculate the total weight, safe elevation and handling)
how you plan to remotely control the camera (we can help if you need us to)
your deadline for the shoot (although last minute shoots are not ideal for either party, if all items needed are in stock, we can offer next working day delivery via UPS without charge, or you can collect from us, as long as payment is made before 12.00 mid day on the day of dispatch / collection)
Want to capture amazing aerial images, without facing the costs and restrictions of flying a drone? Take a look at our free quick guide to find out how.
We retail our own range of high reach carbon fibre mast systems to many professionals, including a growing number of photographers and videographers who are already fully trained, insured and qualified to pilot imaging drones.
"Qualified drone pilots you say? Why do they need a mast system when they can fly?!?" - Well....it has a great deal to do with the many restrictions placed even on qualified drone pilots - such as flying near crowds, near properties or in no-fly zones - not to mention the costs of using a drone capable of safely elevating DSLR quality HD cameras and lenses.
For instance, even qualified drone pilots are restricted from:
flying within 50 metres (150ft) of people and properties,
or within 150 metres (500ft) of crowds and built up areas
- That limits most areas worth shooting in the first place!....Unless you use one of our carbon fibre mast systems, then no restrictions apply at all (within reason, safety and common sense - good quality carbon fibre conducts electricity after all).
Instead of flying, many of our customers use our masts to simulate "drone" footage, bridging no-fly zones or restricted areas, while relying on gimbal and *non-gimbal remote controllable camera systems, such as the DJI Osmo X3, DJI Osmo Pro X5 or the SteadXP+* stabilisation hardware with their preferred DSLR and lens of choice.
"Are your masts that strong and rigid?" most people ask us. Yes they are - our mast systems can carry 2kgs of DSLR and lens to 18ft, 30ft or even 40ft high. They can be used with, or more often without a tripod - as a highly portable jib arm to "fly" a camera. We can even supply masts that can elevate cameras under 200 grams between 50ft and 74ft high if needed.
Check out the video below to see just how strong, rigid and stable even our entry level Pro-sumer 18ft carbon fibre mast is under DSLR and lens load.
Let's face it - drones are great fun to fly as a hobby, and aerial stills and video are amazing to look at......but when it comes to doing so commercially things get a whole lot more complicated. Just take a look below at the helpful video the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have produced to get a brief overview (pardon the pun).
In the interests of safety (not just your own!), thankfully the CAA have produced a very helpful site called Drone Safe, along with a useful info-graphic called The Drone Code - shown below. To fly commercially (when any client will be paying you for your piloting and imaging skills), step one will be to visit the CAA main website and apply for a permission - click here for more information.
If all you want to image is property, people, wildlife (scared of noisy drones by the way) landscapes or any other area of interest from a good vantage point, then all the drone legislation and restrictions, along with the costs of training, insurances, flight and imaging hardware may seem too much trouble!
Give us a call on (+44) 02380 982366, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements. We will listen carefully to your needs, provide free advice on your project, and when you're good and ready we'll supply our products and solutions.
The most important information we need from you is:
1. The make and models of cameras and lenses you wish to elevate (so we can research the exact total weight)
2. The height you wish to elevate your imaging hardware to (18ft, 30ft or 40ft for DSLR's, DJI Osmo's and Pro Compacts, or 35ft to 74ft for super light weight cameras under 200 grams i.e. GoPro's, or Sony QX-10's)
3. Your remote camera control requirements (we can provide several recommendations, or your camera may already be remote controllable via built in Wi-Fi, or other means).
We hope you found our blog article helpful, and we look forward to working with you soon.
There's an old saying: "the proof of the pudding is in the eating". Watch our video and see how easy to control our strong, rigid, lightweight camera masts are!
All our photography customers know just how strong and rigid our range of carbon fibre photography mast systems are - whether they own an 18ft, 30ft or *40ft model (*image below). These clients are more than satisfied with the vertical strengths and rigidity of our masts at full extension (2kgs for our 18ft, 30ft and 40ft mast systems).
HD, 4K (or higher) quality video cameras are getting lighter and lighter, and more and more systems are stabilised with two and three axis gimbals (sometimes four), such as the DJI Osmo X3 and X5, among others. The Wi-Fi enabled functions of these video camera systems open up so many cost effective, highly versatile applications, from live view, remote pan tilt, through to live setting adjustment and almost real-time WYSIWYG feedback!
These customers want to tilt and pan our masts, using them as mobile jib arms or booms, among many other applications; others want to simulate drone footage to bridge areas of a shoot they cannot fly through, or access areas where it is not safe or legal to do so (even for experienced, trained, insured drone pilots).
The first thing they ask is "just how strong are your carbon fibre masts when tilted, and is it possible to safely and steadily perform a range of moves that would enable dynamic video capture, such as sweeping panning shots, floor to ceiling rises, or overhead crowd reactions?".
Considering that most of the customers that ask these questions are highly skilled professionals, with many years producing award winning film and video, how can we re-produce their work with our masts? The simple answer is - we can't.
So.....instead, we put together this video demonstrating all these maneuvers. To make things even tougher on us, we used our starting level max standard modulus carbon fibre telescopic mast, at full extension of 18ft, with close to 900 grams of weight on the end. We could have used our high, or even ultra high modulus carbon fibre masts, or partially retracted each section for more telescopic overlap to add rigidity under load - but that would not have been very honest for true test results would it?
By demonstrating the performance of our starting level mast, our customers can feel confident that it only gets better, stronger, lighter yet more rigid and easier to control from there.
"Why 900 grams you ask, can you go heavier?" Yes we can, but in this case we wanted to exceed the total weight of a DJI Osmo handle, X3 camera and gimbal, Osmo articulating arm, and our own CNC milled aluminium and stainless steel 1/4"-20 camera mount. Even a DJI Osmo X5 weighs 882 grams total (including Osmo handle, X5 handle adapter, standard X5 lens and gimbal, but without the articulating arm).
When you watch our video below, ask yourself these two questions:
1. What images and video could I capture in conjunction with a high quality carbon fibre mast like this?
2. How much time and money would we save per project if we used this technique?
Please feel free to contact us on email@example.com to access our expertise, products and services - we even offer custom build work for bespoke applications.
We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Click here to view our range of high quality carbon fibre masts - or contact us with your requirements.
What happens when award winning British company Villa Plus invests in safe, innovative elevated photography masts? Take a look for yourself!
For more than 28 years Villa Plus has been putting forth every effort to offer the best value for money in a villa holiday experience. They manage more than 1250 villas over 15 or more destinations around the Mediterranean; from the Algarve to Cyprus, Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol, the Greek and Balearic islands, through to Croatia and Turkey.
For Villa Plus, it is as important to make their resort and accommodation photography look as stunning as the beautiful locations they are established in.
For years, they have worked closely with some of the best photographers in each region to do so, but still, Villa Plus wanted to squeeze every last drop of azure sea and gorgeous scenery for their customers.
How do you get set up in a busy crowd of spectators, safely elevate your camera to 35ft, capture unique images, download your work that morning, and get your images published online by the city newspaper that afternoon?
"The Hendy Ford Eastleigh 10K Road Race took place at 9 o'clock sharp on Sunday the 20th of March 2016.
For safety, the roads were sealed off from traffic, and local parking was minimal, so I walked over a mile from our office to the starting line by 8 o'clock, with plenty of time to plan the shoot and get some test shots.
The only imaging equipment I needed to bring was my trusty Wi-Fi enabled Sony QX-10 18.2 mega pixel camera (10 x optical zoom), my Samsung Galaxy smartphone to control the camera remotely, and an adjustable smartphone mast mount (all, except the camera, is available through www.vantagepointproducts.com)
Quickly and easily weaving my way through the assembled crowd of runners warming up, and spectators jostling for a spot to watch from, I got set up, making sure to position myself away from any trip hazard, obstructions, or overhead cables.
There was no need to waste time setting up and packing away all the gear between each position; our carbon fibre photography mast could be safely extended, retracted and re-positioned with the camera and smartphone controller still attached, ready to shoot - now that's portable!
Now that I was in position, delighted with the elevated vantage point among interested spectators, runners and photographers covering the event, the Official prepared to start the race.
The air fell silent as the runners prepared their minds and bodies for the race they have trained so hard for. This is where the 35ft vantage point, 10 x optical zoom and some nifty Sony Play Memories smartphone app remote control paid off. I managed to capture the steely looks of determination on the front runners as they set their watches, encouraged their peers, and waited for the starting pistol.
Now here's where I captured, what I feel, was the best shot out of all my work that morning. I wanted to catch the surge that happens when the race starts, where everyone at the front heads off, and the crowd compresses and expands as wave after wave of runners take their first step into the first metre of all ten thousand to follow.
The last shot was of the whole race-pack, leading away from the starting line along Passfield Avenue toward Fleming Park Leisure Centre; behind which the finishing line would be waiting, nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine metres later!
I had no intention to photograph the finishing line. There were professional photographers paid to do that. What I wanted to capture was the key part of every race where this saying begins and ends: "It's not the winning but the taking part that counts".
Within a few hours, I had sent the images off to the Southampton Daily Echo - the local city newspaper. Under the proviso of crediting my name and company, as I have done so twice before ("Badi Mirchi restaurant fire" and "overturned bin lorry Woodside Avenue"), I allowed them to use a copy of my images to promote their article covering the race.
I was pleased to see one of my accredited photographs on the front page of their online publication, which they then decided to use as a thumbnail image to generate interest for their article."
So what do you think?
More often than not, you don't need a drone to capture high quality elevated images and even video of sports and similar events. In fact, nine out of ten times you are not legally allowed to fly a drone nearby. Imaging by Unmanned Aerial Vehicle has its' place, but with current legislation, their practical application is limited. Professional, qualified photography and video drone pilots are usually highly trained, skilled, and very well insured, but they have to pass those costs onward, as would anyone who wanted to operate a drone legally and safely. This limits their customer base to those who can afford to cover those costs.
In contrast, a portable telescopic carbon fibre photography and video mast is accessible to almost every photographer, from amateur enthusiasts to professionals. Most importantly, elevated mast photography is affordable, safe, and highly practical.
At Vantage Point Products, we would be glad to help you find an elevated imaging solution to meet your exact needs - whether that is to safely elevate a super light weight camera under 350 grams between 27ft and even 74ft, or a DSLR to 30ft or 40ft!
We can assemble elevated photography and video masts from a range of high quality carbon fibre material, from max standard modulus, high modulus and even ultra high modulus for the greatest strength and rigidity. We also supply a high quality aluminium telescopic tripod to support our 30ft or 40ft masts.
- Let us know what camera you intend to use, the height you want to elevate it to, and how you wish to control it remotely. We can make some solid recommendations for cameras and other equipment required.
- Most importantly, let us know your deadline for delivery - we ship worldwide, and will do our utmost to meet your shoot deadline.
- Consider our detailed quote, buy a mast (or more), and start getting those unique, highly valuable elevated images and video!
No doubt you'd agree that it is a pleasure when a product works the way it is supposed to: well designed, fit for purpose and worth the money?
What about gutter inspection camera systems used for high level vacuum cleaning? Why should it be any different there?
After all, you may have spent between £1000 and £2500 on a complete gutter vac system - so much that you got the camera system for "free"....but what has it cost you in time, replacement parts, and frustration?
More than 6 years ago we built our own Gutter Vacuum System for the cleaning business we operated, and we quickly realised the value of including Before and After photos with our quote. We routinely landed 9 out of 10 quotes we submitted, with customers reporting that, although we were never the cheapest, they felt that they could trust us and that we offered the most professional service (which they were happy to pay a little extra for!)
You may want an inspection kit of your own, but trying to DIY a camera system that is practical (at least tough and weatherproof) and affordable ("I'll try this..££..no, that..£££..uh oh, this is adding up quick!"), can be challenging to say the least!
"Do I buy a Wi-Fi enabled GoPro, a wireless drain inspection kit with detachable monitor, a wireless car / trailer reversing camera kit, or a wireless baby monitor?" you may ask.
At the end of the day, the choice is always yours, with most people looking to hit that sweet spot of suitability, performance and value for money.
Yes, all camera systems have their limitations, but imagine how good it would be if a manufacturer actually listened to the constructive feedback from the real experts who use these gutter vacuum mounted camera systems day to day, and improved their products accordingly.
This is exactly what we as Vantage Point Products have done!
Below, in the left column are some of the problems reported to us by a number of high reach vacuuming experts (customers of other gutter vac related equipment retailers). In the right column is a detailed list of solutions we have already designed, manufactured, tried and tested - available for retail on www.vantagepointproducts.com.
Please note: It is not our goal to speak negatively of other companies that provide camera systems with their Gutter Vacuum Systems, or those who sell them separately. When you want a Gutter Vac, you go to the experts....when you want a suitable camera system for safe imaging at height that is truly fit for purpose, shouldn't you do the same?
Common Complaints with Existing Systems:
Tried and Tested Solution provided by Vantage Point Products:
1. The Camera Mounting System:THE PROBLEM
- "The camera keeps falling off the gutter vac head tool!"
- "The camera keeps getting sucked up into the vacuum!"
- "The camera mount gets wet and slips off the position we want it to stay in"
1. The Camera Mounting System: OUR SOLUTION
We sourced a military grade weatherproof rubberised mount that securely mounts our camera to all goose necks and gutter vac head tools (inc. 38mm, 51mm, and even 76mm OD)
2. The Camera Housing: THE PROBLEM
- "I can't use it in wet weather without risking damaging it"
- "It is not tough enough to take the knocks during every day gutter cleaning"
- "It keeps slipping out of position when mounted"
2. The Camera Housing: OUR SOLUTION
We designed and tested our rubberised protective camera housing to be weatherproof, dust proof and impact resistant. The surface of the camera housing has a rugged pattern designed to grip in the mount, to stop any slipping from position.
3. Camera Battery Life: THE PROBLEM
- "I need to work all day, but my camera battery doesn't last long enough between charges"
3. Camera Battery Life: OUR SOLUTION
We designed and tested our rugged camera system to be supported by a weatherproof battery power bank that provides 6-8 hours extra battery life so you can work all day.
The weather proof battery power bank also uses the same mounting system as our camera, so it fits all goose necks and gutter vacuum heads tools (38mm, 51mm, and even 76mm OD).
4. The Display Monitor: THE PROBLEM
- "I can't see the screen clearly in sunlight"
- "the screen size is too small"
- "the image quality is not good enough to show my customer, or to include in quotes"
- "my monitor battery lasts 3 hours at best, but I need to work all day without interruption"
- "the display fits to my pole, but I cannot adjust the angle of the screen and it doesn't seem very securely mounted"
- "The range of my camera and monitor is too limited, and prone to interference"
- "I want to use a wired camera for long distance gutter vacuuming well above 15m (~50ft), or over and into thick metal areas such as box gutters or air-conditioning vents that can block radio waves from wireless cameras".
4. The Display Monitor: OUR SOLUTION
We do not rely on manually or automatically increasing or decreasing screen contrast to offer a partial solution.
Our DVR monitor offers the following complete solutions:
Integrated fold out engineered sunshade blocking light from the top and sides of the monitor
5" screen size - one of the largest on the market that is still practical to use on a pole
Our Cameras and DVR monitor has the highest level of Standard Definition available in 800 x 480 in 16:9 or 4:3 ratio
Screen brightness of 300 cd/m2 - (not including added benefits of sunshade)
The DVR monitor lasts 4.5-5 hours on a full charge, but 8 hours + when supported by our weather battery power bank!
Both live view and image snapshots are easily clear and readable on-site, and imported into quotes and other inspection documentation
The DVR monitor mount is tough, weatherproof, secure, and yet adjustable for different monitor viewing angles. It fits all telescopic poles and gutter vacuum tubing up to 52mm OD.
The DVR Monitor does not rely on internal patch antennas, but instead uses an optimised external antenna that is adjustable in angle to get the best Line Of Sight signal from our wireless camera.
The DVR monitors have also been designed to work with our Rugged Wired Camera System, with custom cable lengths to meet our customers needs - or more than 25m long! The cable has been designed to be quickly and securely be fixed to poles and vacuum tubes, so they do not get in the way during cleaning or inspection.
5. Options for an additional High Definition (HD) camera system: THE PROBLEM
- "I only need a Standard Definition (SD) camera system during cleaning, but it would be very useful to have a good value HD camera for taking good looking Before and After images of my work for marketing, customers and documents etc"
- "I cannot afford an action camera with Wi-Fi remote control, and even if I could would it really be practical?"
- "How would I mount the smartphone or tablet used to control the action camera, to the pole or gutter vacuum tube?"
- "If I am now using my smartphone or tablet to control the HD camera, how can I make that waterproof too, or protect it if I drop it on-site?"
- "Which HD camera systems should I look at, and which ones should I avoid wasting my money on?"
5. Options for an additional High Definition (HD) camera system: OUR SOLUTION
Choosing a truly practical, yet affordable HD camera for your pole or gutter vacuum system can be very, very tricky. Vantage Point products have tested a number of options on the market, and have listened to real world users.
In response, we have consulted and sourced suitable tried and tested HD cameras that have proved viable for our customers exact requirements.
We choose not to advertise these via our site at present, but we encourage people to contact us and we will offer our advice. If you want our recommendation or a quotation (and even a demonstration) this can be arranged. We can source suitable HD cameras, and pole / vacuum tube mounting systems for both the camera, smartphone and tablet if required.
The systems we source can avoid problems like Fish-Eye lens distortion, poor Wi-Fi connection / disconnection to smartphone / tablet, and short (30-45 min) battery life that usually comes with Wi-Fi enabled HD action cameras.
Take a look over our HD images below, and see what just one of our HD systems can offer you:
18.2 megapixel HD images
10 x optical (not poor quality digital) zoom via smartphone or tablet remote control
Zero Fish-Eye lens distortion
Live View Full Screen to smartphone or tablet - let your clients see the problem then and there, and you are more likely to get the sale on the spot!
Remote control over four storeys height
Quick download to smartphone or tablet for emailing images to the client over your mobile internet without going back to the office to download
Provide high quality HD "After Clean" images, and your client will be more inclined to use you again, and even recommend you to others!
So, what do you think? If you have found any more problems with existing camera systems you would like to see resolved, then let us know. We value your feedback, and if possible, we will do all we can to meet your requirements.
Here's what some of our satisfied customer's have had to say about our products:
"Received my camera kit today…. product looks and feels very professional…. I have tested it on my own gutters and it does exactly what it is designed for…. Thanks for all your help and support…. Vantage Point Products offers excellent customer service and products as described on your website. I would recommend you to anyone." - SCP Window and Gutter Cleaning - Birmingham
"Tom, many thanks for your help and time upon this project. Very professional and dedicated. It goes hugely appreciated" - GL, London. (Custom telescopic HD roof imaging system).
Vantage Point Products wanted to seize the opportunity to give credit where credit is due - to all the hard working members Hampshire's Fire and Rescue Services, along with other rescue and paramedic services, especially those funded by charities and supported by volunteers.
For example, take the work of the Hampshire and IOW Air Ambulance service; have we ever considered how many lives have been saved by these brave men and women? Just take a look at their website - http://www.hiow-airambulance.org.uk/
Unfortunately, the Air Ambulance found it necessary to fly into Eastleigh last month - we hope that their mission was a success, and our thoughts go out to those who needed their expert help that day.
Of course, while the presence of a helicopter air ambulance does illicit instantaneous curiosity from the public, it is very important that all in the vicinity be aware of the safety procedures if they approach. Here is a link to the official Hampshire and IOW Air Ambulance guidance and restrictions on approaching the aircraft: http://www.hiow-airambulance.org.uk/latest-news/approach-air-ambulance-safely/. Download the poster, and be ready and safe next time they land or take off near you!
All these shots were taken (from the safe recommended distance) with our 35ft Carbon Fibre Telescopic Imaging Mast, and our 10 x optical zoom, 18.2 megapixel Wi-Fi enabled camera - both available from Vantage Point Products (by request).
For high quality image files, please feel free to contact us.